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  • June 8, 2018
    Equities
    Oasis or mirage? Egypt's economic potential
    Gary Greenberg
    From a distance, it is easy to conclude that Egypt is an arid environment for investors. Being only 0.13% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, the country is easily dismissed given its questionable democracy, high rate of inflation, recent currency devaluation and twin deficits. Look closely, and the conditions become more attractive: low labour costs, high literacy levels and a series of economic reforms suggest that real investment opportunities are shimmering on the sands.
  • November 6, 2017
    Equities
    Getting engaged: Uniting performance with positive change in emerging markets
    Gary Greenberg
    No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
  • October 17, 2017
    Equities
    Imitator turned innovator: Technological change in China
    Gary Greenberg
    Recent news flow about China has been dominated by Xi Jinping’s centralisation of power. But we believe the real story of interest for investors is the radical shift from imitation to innovation within the country’s economy. As China’s technology sector expands rapidly, we assess its transformative impact on the nation’s economy. Change is afoot in the global technology sector. Shenzhen is vying to become the next Silicon Valley – not in the immediate future, but perhaps in the next 15 years. And imitation by the world’s biggest factory is no longer the sincerest form of flattery. China is determined to be at the forefront of the next wave of technological innovation. Today, the government is fuelling growth in the technology sector. Funding for research is ramping up, thanks to the economy’s $11tn annual GDP, which is growing by over $650bn per year. By 2020, China will spend 2.5% of its GDP on R&D – that’s a 70% rise in absolute terms since 2015, and in line with the developed world. Furthermore, a nationwide policy introduced earlier this year allows all local governments to add R&D expenses into their GDP. This should spur governments to compete on this measure, boosting the country’s aggregate investment in R&D. Importantly, the effort is not limited to official channels. Support from the private sector is also driving technological innovation. China is fast becoming a hot destination for venture capitalists, already attracting more start-up capital than Europe.
  • August 17, 2017
    Equities
    The future looks brighter for Brazil
    Gary Greenberg
    During a recent research trip to Brazil, we visited the heartland of Brazilian manufacturing amid a febrile political climate. As the flailing economy emerges from the worst recession in its history, we asked: what does the future look like for Brazil? “It is time to invest in our country. Brazil is ready to start growing again.” So said President Michel Temer after he garnered enough support to block a corruption trial in a congressional vote last week. The president won a comfortable victory: 263 to 227 votes. But his troubles are not over. There is a chance that further indictments will be brought against him. Nevertheless, with support from the lower house, Temer pledged to “pass all the reforms the country needs”. Temer’s victory comes three weeks after the Senate passed an important labour-reform bill and the sentencing to nearly 10 years’ jail of former president Lula da Silva for corruption. If the conviction is upheld, Lula da Silva will be rendered ineligible to contest next year’s presidential elections. This would remove a major obstacle to the reform agenda.
  • November 20, 2015
    Equities
    ESG: challenging the dominant investment paradigm
    Gary Greenberg
    Key points Our experience as long-term investors, and as people, leads us to believe that the investment maxim of increasing shareholder value above all other concerns should be re-examined. We should ask: what are the broad effects of investing in a company – on society, the environment and on all shareholders – and can they be divorced from the movement of its stock price? Environmental, social and governance risks can incur harsh financial consequences, particularly within the extensive time horizons of longterm investors, such as ourselves. It is part of our duty to integrate these risks into our investment decisions, and engage companies about them – for the benefit of our clients, their investors and for the innocent bystander, too.